First Preseason Practice Under Bob Diaco And New Staff Is A Wrap (Updated)

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And it was inside the Burton Family Football Complex due to inclement weather…

What’s goin on?

The first preseason practice under first year coach Bob Diaco is a wrap and it was much different from first day of spring practice…

“A lot of times, you’ll go to a full-speed drill and people are flopping around on the ground, flying around all over, banging into each other, knocking each other down, grabbing each other. That’s not how professionals do their work,” Diaco said after practice Saturday. “Then on the other side you might go to a walk and talk teach installation part and guys are kicking the ground or moving around, not focused or looking off into the distance or something. That wasn’t present today. It was Day 1 in spring.”“Things looked crisper. Guys moved faster because they’re faster and because they can do that longer so the overall 24 periods of practice were faster. From a respect standpoint and coaching each other standpoint and coaching players standpoint that was completely different. They were respectful toward each other. They were leading each other. They were communicating with each other. I can name 100 things but those were some of the main points.”

Players weren’t available today. They will be Wednesday but Diaco said he thought the first practice went well. Lot of work to do obviously with the season opener at home against BYU 27 days away. Lots of small details to cover but the fact the team came back ready to go physically will help them address those small details and the big ones, too..

I have a notebook running tomorrow and I’ll link it in here but a couple things I wanted to hit here that I didn’t get a chance to hit there.

One, because he talked about it a little more, on the hybrid 4-3, 3-4, defense and the role of the outside linebacker…

“Our system that we’ve built facilitates one of those players [on the outside] being that guy that can do both jobs [defensive end and outside linebacker] that’s why we don’t have to sub to get out of defenses that look like sub defenses,” Diaco said. “Graham [Stewart] will even afford more opportunity on this. He’s not necessarily, for us, the prototypical outside backer. He plays longer and bigger because he’s strong and powerful and tough and rugged but he moves as quick and with change of direction as a safety…for me to minimize the fact you need to be able to see and move and fundamentally do your work from a two-point [stance] and also a three-point to say that’s just nothing no that’s definitely something.”

Daco had some really encouraging things to say about 6-8, 300-pound sophomore offensive lineman Andreas Knappe who has been making progress: “You look at him and you see there is length, athleticism and flexibility. It’s not like you can picking those guys off a tree, they are rare to begin with anyway. Watching him work, seeing what kind of toughness he has and you believe OK —  ‘this guy can develop.’ There are certain things required intangibly to develop…He possess intangible and tangible traits that we believe he can develop into a good/great offensive tackle.”

– The Huskies lost tight end Quinn Thompson who left the program but could they be getting offensive lineman Steve Hashemi into the group joining Alec Bloom, Tommy Myers and Sean McQuillan?

“I’m excited to see the tape and hear how Steve did today,” Diaco said. “But if he’s going to be able to be functional there that’s four pretty good looking physical  guys. We see him as on offensive line man but we want to create positions to overrun the defense at the point of the attack. It wouldn’t be off base to take a young athletic offensive tackle and see if he can do some tight end jobs that look a lot like offensive lineman jobs.”

Diaco likes the defensive line depth behind Angelo Pruitt and Reuben Frank on the outside and B.J. McBryde and Julian Campenni inside.

“I do. And we have young guys that look like they’re going to be able to develop into players. We need six to do our business but we have eight or nine guys that are interested, intense team guys company guys that are going to know the defense, know how to work, know to step, know how to use their hands…”

Offensive line? “Physically more prepared to do their jobs,” Diaco said. “Not only from a strength standpoint and flexibility standpoint but a conditioning standpoint so they play hard longer. The younger don’t look out of place. I’m not saying they’re going participate but they don’t look out of place.”

Ryan Crozier, Trey Rutherford and Daniel Oak were true freshmen Diaco pointed out….

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